My boy. He is a boy now. He is not a baby. I must firmly remind myself of this...
No more chubby little legs that stumble and bumble about. He strides purposefully. He dances little jigs. He leaps in the air. He runs like the wind with his red hair flying backward. He does not check to see what is ahead or behind him - he just goes.
He climbs without hesitation (much to his mother's chagrin or is that terror?!) His arms pumping with real wrists - not those folds of skins that were so soft and delicate. The other day we were playing tackle with the football and I noticed this fine blond hair on his legs, thicker than before - hair that I swear was not like that, that was not there the day before.
He giggles infectiously - that little boy laughter that comes when we are pretending to be dinosaurs. Or when he puts his soft hole filled blue blanket on his head and pretends to be a ghostie- raaaaaahhh. The laughter he belts out at my co-worker who plays hide and seek with her stuffed green alien doll with the funny eyes. You know what I am talking about - I listen for it in the stores and I hear other kids giggle, that sound that makes me smile and tear up all at once because I know that little boy sounding laughter will not last forever.
His round belly is no more. It has been mostly replaced by muscles and ribs and this seemingly little boy regal carriage. He can peddle his trike BY HIMSELF, MOMMY. He wants to be a dare devil - I see broken bones in my future already! Jumping off everything he can, running out the door of the furniture store without Daddy's help scaring the life out of his parents (who needs us any way?), running and falling and getting up as if that scrape does not hurt - it does, doesn't it? At least I hope so because if it does not that means he needs me a little less than he did the day before.
Each moment that passes, he changes. He develops a more distinct personality. Rosy cheeks and an evil giggly look when he has played a joke, a quizzical expression when he tries to decide if that letter is an M or an F. He can sing the alphabet mostly all himself, he likes to 'read' by himself, he still listens to my every word and watches my mouth when I say words he cannot understand but that is an act of freedom in itself. It is driving him further away - he recently learned how to say cinnamon, biscuit and so many more properly - all things that seemingly do not mean much by themselves but in the big scheme of things the more words he learns the more he grows up.
All of sudden he can go to the bathroom by himself, he does not wet his pants at night, he sleeps. in a big boy bed, he can turn on and off the lights in each room like he is an old hand at it - like he was never 22 inches long, like he never weighed a mere 8 lbs 12 oz.
I stood back yesterday and watched him chatter and laugh and talk; I watched him create and dream and wonder. I watched my boy going out in the world with all of his pleases and thank yous, with his flurry of activity and amazement and creativity.
And I realized I have no other choice but to stand back and allow him to grow up because he is changing and there is no stopping that.